Santa Monica’s Proposed Union Exemption in Minimum Wage Hike Harshly Criticized:

The Employment Policies Institute has been circling this mobile billboard in Santa Monica City Hall showcasing union hypocrisy.
The Employment Policies Institute has been circling this mobile billboard in Santa Monica City Hall showcasing union hypocrisy.

In anticipation of the Santa Monica City Council vote tonight to match Los Angeles’ $15-by-2020 minimum wage, the Los Angeles Times and a Washington, D.C., think-tank are calling out city leaders. 

In an op-ed written by the Times Editorial Board published this morning, the paper lamented “hypocrisy by labor leaders who had publicly fought efforts to exempt restaurant workers, nonprofits and small businesses from the new minimum wage, yet quietly lobbied for companies to have the right to pay union workers a sub-minimum wage.”

In “Santa Monica, take note: A minimum wage with no exceptions is best,” the Times suggested the city follow Los Angeles City Council’s move in passing the minimum wage with no exceptions.

In a similar effort, the nonprofit Employment Policies Institute (EPI) placed a full-page ad in the Santa Monica edition of today’s Los Angeles Times, as well as a mobile billboard that will circle City Hall, criticizing the labor loophole in the city’s proposed $15 minimum wage. 

Tonight the Santa Monica City Council is expected to consider a $15 municipal minimum wage, from which it currently plans to exempt unionized businesses. A similar collective bargaining exemption faced national backlash in Los Angeles this summer.